The Young Leaders in Conservation and ArtCorps Artist Isabel Carrio were about to celebrate the completion of a stunning 80 x 90 foot mosaic made from plastic bottle caps, but one of the young artists was dissatisfied.
Aroldo asks me to bend down so he can whisper into my ear: “This isn’t good. I don’t like it.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the group celebrates the conclusion of the project that we’ve worked on for the last two months at the Xolsacmalja community library: An image measuring 80 by 90 feet made completely out of plastic drink bottle tops. An attempt to make a game, and manifest color, out of recycling. A plastic mosaic.
Between the shrieks of the other workshop participants, empty glue bottles scattered on the floor, and struggles to grab the camera, I want to know why Aroldo isn’t happy with the final outcome. He was the one, after all, who created the design on the vinyl and he never missed a single workshop.
Aroldo remains at a distance and continues to shake his head NO.
Finally he says to me: “Tree trunks are not pink.”
Hmmm. “Matisse was a very famous painter who painted trees red.” It is the first thing that comes to mind as I search for an answer that will make him feel like an “understood artist.”
But Aroldo keeps looking for brown drink tops within the bag. There’s not a single one! Funny that the drink companies here don’t use brown in their product design.
I try to make sure that the rest of the group doesn’t get discouraged over the “pink trunk.” So, as a closing activity, we imagine the dawn, when the sun bathes the forests and cities, the adobe houses and the buildings, in pinks and oranges. We can only see it for a few minute. Aroldo, now you see?
His buddies have already put away the materials and are playing ball on the field, but Aroldo is still looking skeptically at the plastic tree.
Meanwhile, evening is falling and if we look beyond the soccer field, the forest is tinged with pinks and purples.
This project is being carried out in collaboration with EcoLogic Development Fund.